UNFPA promises to continue Osotimehin’s grand vision for women and youth

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UNFPA while mourning Prof Babatunde Osotimehin, said it will continue his vision for women and young people

In a statement announcing the death of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, at his home at 68 years, the agency described the loss devastating for UNFPA and for the people, especially women, girls and youth.

Read more: Nigeria’s former health minister, Prof Babatunde Osotimehin dies at 68

“He dedicated his life to serving, starting from when he became a doctor in Nigeria. UNFPA expresses its deep sympathy to his family and prays that they have the fortitude to bear this great loss,” said UNFPA management,” UNFPA said in a statement gotten by HealthNewsNG.  

“Dr. Osotimehin was bold and never afraid of a challenge and his strong leadership helped keep the health and rights of the world’s women and girls high on the global agenda. He understood that the world’s 1.8 billion young people are truly its greatest hope for the future.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signing the book of condolences. Photo by UNFPA

UNFPA said in the statement that it is dedicated to continuing Dr. Osotimehin’s grand vision for women and young people and will continue to stand up for the human rights and dignity of everyone, particularly the most vulnerable adolescent girls.

“He vigorously championed three major transformative goals of zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet demand for family planning and the elimination of harmful practices against women and girls. UNFPA urges all to honour his legacy by rallying around those global goals,” UNFPA stated.

It would be recalled that Dr. Osotimehin, a physician and public health expert, became UNFPA’s fourth Executive Director on 1 January 2011, with the rank of United Nations Under-Secretary-General.

Before this appointment, Dr. Osotimehin was Nigeria’s Minister of Health. Prior to that, he was Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, which coordinated HIV and AIDS work in Nigeria.
 

Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General signing the book of condolences – Photo by UNFPA

Dr. Osotimehin qualified as a doctor from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1972, and went to the University of Birmingham, England, where he got a doctorate in medicine in 1979. He was appointed Professor at the University of Ibadan in 1980 and headed the Department of Clinical Pathology before being elected Provost of the College of Medicine in 1990. Dr. Osotimehin received the Nigerian national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger in December 2005. He led several councils, including in the World Economic Forum.

He was married, had five children and several grandchildren.

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Paul is a freelance journalist, medical researcher and extensively published author. He holds a MSc degree in cell biology and genetics, and is a PhD candidate of the University of Ibadan.

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